Editors' Note: Issue 7
Updated: Sep 22
Ashely: As I write this note, it would be an understatement to say a lot of terrible things are occurring in the world. I've spent weeks endlessly doomscrolling Twitter, wondering how our communities will survive the multi-combo punches of Covid-19, continued police brutality , and catastrophic natural disasters. Lately, I've been diving into researching history. Not because I believe the past was kinder or better (in most ways it wasn't), but as a means of understanding how we got here and getting strength from those who survived and fought against past injustices. Perhaps that is what drew me to the pieces in the nonfiction and hybrid sections for this issue. Whether looking at the collapse of the Soviet Union or personal ghosts, all these pieces ask us to reflect, to ask why we are here and, hopefully, provide us a compass for where we may go to next. As always, thank you for your continued support of his little lit mag.
Ethan: It feels like most publications these days face pressure to say something meaningful about the state of the world. Unfortunately, if I ever had any insight, I think I've run out. There's just too much happening for me to be able to tie it all together, and it seems I'm not alone in feeling that way.
The stories in this issue don't succeed in creating a theory of everything that's gone wrong, either. In fact, they don't even try. But they find a thread and follow it as far as they can, whether it's the ever-creeping effects of the anthropocene or the equally insidious ways in which society tries to bind women's humanity into something small, something less. These stories may not find solutions, but when it comes to understanding both what's happening now and what's long been going on, they offer a place to start. That may be all we have, but it also may be all we need to find a way beyond this.
Jacqueline: This time around, I'm so grateful to Ashely and Ethan for saying what I didn't know how to say. I'm struggling to synthesize this moment in time because like so many others, I oscillate between exhaustion, fear, and rage. When none of those emotions feel productive, when productivity starts feeling like an unnecessary answer to a question no one asked, instead I choose to turn to the body.
The poems in this issue approach the body in myriad ways: in one body's betrayal of another, in alienation of and from the body, but in the trust and meditation on the body as well. I find such a comfort in poetry of the body because it reminds me that, even as the ground continues to shift beneath our feet, we have these shuffling sacks of meat and blood and bone. And inside that body is a ghost who makes poetry and deserves compassion, deserves grace and rest. That's enough. It's more than enough.
Thank you, friends and flock, for joining us in our fall issue.